Suspect’s eclectic creations on display for Arts Trail

Phil ‘Suspect’ Jones describes his artwork as bright, bold and a mashup of his childhood and his creativity. Taranaki Community News caught up with him ahead of his appearance in this weekend’s Taranaki Arts Trail.

Hi Phil! You’ve become a pretty well known artist in Taranaki. How did you first get into creating?
I have been creative since a very young age, but I didn’t pursue it until high school where I learnt more about art and developed techniques.

This led to me wanting to have it as a career, which didn’t happen until years later after spending years skateboarding and falling loving in love with the freedom of expression and the no rules of graffiti art. 

Back in the early 2000s you got in a bit of trouble for that “graffiti”, has this shaped what you do today?
Yeah of course it has. It made me be more careful! 


If you could give someone without sight an idea of what your art was like, what would you tell them? 
Bright and bold and mashed up images of people and things that shaped my childhood and creativity.

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My version #water #wave #art #philjones

A post shared by Phil 'suspect' Jones (@suspect_npk) on

You create with a lot of different materials and on a lot of different mediums. What’s your fav?
Aerosol is my favourite as it drys fast and is very versatile and hard wearing.

You’ve also done a whole range of different projects, from power boxes to walls at WOMAD. Can you tell us about a favourite project?
My favourite is the artist in residence in schools. I get paid to travel as well as getting to inspire and give motivation to future creatives and go-getters.

What do you like to do when you’re not making art?
Hang with my girls – my daughter Devaux (9) and my wife Lisa.

What can people expect from your studio during the Taranaki Arts Trail?
An eclectic mix of art, colour, inspiration and collectibles. They surround me in my dungeon and help sidetrack me and make my creativity flourish.

  • Established in 2014 the Taranaki Arts Trail provides the public with the unique opportunity to meet with artists in their studio/workshops. It is a free event and this year it is held on the weekend of June 8, 9 and 10. For more information visit